TrkB as a therapeutic target for ovarian cancer

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2009 Oct;13(10):1169-78. doi: 10.1517/14728220903196787.


Background: In many countries, ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy. Its poor prognosis is mainly due to the late stage of disease with metastasis at presentation. The significant failure rate of chemotherapy in patients with advanced stage disease is also a main concern. As such, developing novel therapeutic targets is essential to improve long-term survival. Overexpression of Tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB), a tyrosine kinase receptor, has been documented in ovarian cancer and is found to be correlated with poor prognosis.

Objective/methods: We discuss the functional roles and the related downstream signaling pathways of TrkB and its ligand brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in ovarian cancer. The possible crosstalk between TrkB/BDNF and other putative molecular targets in ovarian cancer is also discussed.

Results/conclusions: All these latest findings shed light on the application of TrkB as a therapeutic target for ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neuroblastoma / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Receptor, trkB / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Receptor, trkB